The Envira Gallery is a lightweight plugin that focuses on giving you what you need. This keeps the plugin simple, fast, and efficient. WP Mayor has already taken an in-depth look at this plugin. For the original review, see the article Envira Gallery – Can it Beat the Mighty NextGen Gallery? Rather than repeat what has already been covered, I will take a look at its new features.
The Envira Gallery plugin, while still remaining true to its goal of speed, simplicity, and efficiency, has a lots of new features and addons. The features that have been added are the most requested, so they’re not just adding something that might or might not be used. This helps keep the plugin light while providing features that users want. In this review I’ll take a look at the new addons.
The New Addons
There’s a host of new addons that greatly expand the functionality of Envira Gallery. Here’s a quick description of each one:
With Albums you can store your galleries within collections. These provide an easy way to manage galleries and cover photos. It will also show you titles and counts.
This lets you specify the default settings of your galleries.
The Dropbox importer imports images from your Dropbox account into your galleries.
You can now create dynamic galleries quickly and easily. You can create them on the fly and paste them anywhere using shortcodes.
Using the EXIF add-on you can display EXIF metadata in your galleries and in images within lightboxes.
This is a feature that will import your Instagram images into your WordPress website.
If you use Lightroom you’ll be able to create and sync photo galleries your Lightroom collections.
This one imports galleries from NextGEN. It includes galleries, albums, and tags. It’s a great tool for those switching from NextGEN.
With this tool you can add pagination across multiple galleries. This is especially helpful for large galleries.
You can restrict access to your galleries through password protection. This is great for allowing clients to have exclusive access to galleries.
Pinterest buttons can be added to your gallery’s images while in lightbox view. This is an excellent tool to allow your visitors to share your photos.
Photo proofing is an important step in photography for dealing with clients. The proofing feature gives your clients an easy way to proof their photos.
You can add sharing buttons to your photos so your visitors can share your images with their favorite social networks.
This uses the Envira post type with unique URL’s to allow your galleries to have dedicated gallery pages.
With this add-on you can create video galleries from sources such as YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, and videos you host yourself.
Watermarking is an important way of protecting your images. This lets you protect your photos by adding your own custom watermarks.
The WooCommerce integration provides an easy way to sale your photos from your website.
This tool lets you import photos into your gallery from zip files.
Taking a Closer Look
There are a several features that stood out to me and I wanted to look at them in more detail. These are important for business and productivity. Here are my thoughts on them.
Adobe Lightroom is a popular tool for editing photos. The Lightroom add-on makes it even more useful by integrating Lightroom into WordPress so you can sync your WordPress galleries with your Adobe Lightroom collections. This creates a fast and efficient way for photographers to show photos to clients for proofing.
You can also delete the galleries from within Lightroom. You can still view and edit the galleries within WordPress, so you don’t have to go back to Lightroom every time you want to make a change.
After you install the extension you’ll need to activate it and then authenticate it with Adobe Lightroom. Once you have everything set up and authenticated you can create WordPress galleries from within Lightroom and keep them in sync with WordPress.
Social adds buttons to your photos so your visitors can share them. You can choose which networks to enable from the list. The networks include Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, and you can also include an option to share the photos through email. You can also choose where to place the buttons on your photos and their orientation.
The WooCommerce feature is easy to use. There are only a few things to set up and it integrates perfectly. You associate your photos as products and then an option to purchase is added to the gallery. Visitors can then click to buy any photos that you’ve set up as products. You can change or modify it anytime.
The watermarking feature is simple to use and has lots of options you can set. Just enable it and choose the image you want to use as the watermark. Then you can choose the location if you don’t want the default location. Apply it to the existing galleries and you’re done.
The proofing feature has a lot of options of how visitors can purchase approved photos. According to settings you choose, they can edit their order, place multiple orders, adjust the quantities and sizes, and more. You can automatically send them notification and confirmation emails that you customize. You’ll need to enable the proofing option in the lightbox for it to display.
The new add-ons are great for increasing your productivity, protecting your photos, interacting with your clients, and selling your photos. Overall I found the features and add-ons to be critical for anyone wanting to sell their photos through their website.
None of the features feel unnecessary. I like that the add-ons are installed separately from each other. This allows you to pick and choose which features you need and only focus on those. The plugin still doesn’t feel overwhelming and runs smooth.
Setup on most add-ons is just clicking a few buttons. Some have more options than others but they have default settings that you don’t have to adjust if you don’t want to. You’ll want to invest some time into learning the features as some of them are not as intuitive as others.
Fortunately there are short videos for each add-on to step your through the major setup. The videos are almost too short and fast but they will lead you in the right direction. If you want something slower with more detail you can also view the documentation. Going through them is time well-spent because the new features are perfect for selling and protecting your photos.
Photos are public domain.
What do you think? Have you used the new features of Envira Gallery? What’s your favorite add-on? Let us know in the comments below.